Interview with Artist Brandon Gunn

We’re featuring four pieces by artist Brandon Gunn in the library from now until November 14. Learn more about Brandon by reading the interview below and by visiting his website.


How did you get into art?
Like most kids in art, I began with a love of drawing when I was young. Tanks, planes, buildings, trees, it didn’t really matter what. Somehow drawing was something that gave me joy. Maybe I didn’t know how to interact with others but I knew what to do with my pictures. Most of the time they would involve complex worlds or events that I could manipulate and control with tiny figures. I loved crafting the narrative of these little worlds. I continued to draw and to enjoy making art, and eventually came to love the questions that my pictures could ask and the conversations that they could start just as much as I loved the narratives that they could present.

Tell us about the pieces you’re showing at the library.
These pieces are from a series of work called Closer to Home. As I have moved throughout different parts of the US and lived in different countries I have never quite forgotten my love of the West. I am continually fascinated with how it has a constant impact on how I view the environments that I am in. I think we carry a lot of our childhood with us, and for me the land that surrounded me then has a big impact on how I see the space I inhabit now. These pieces are all scans of the rooms that I live and work in the most. I simply take my scanner, open the lid and scan. As such they are literally a form of photographing and recording my current habitat. However, due to limitations in the scanners ability to “see” beyond what it was built for, most of these scans become abstracted. To me they morph into many different forms, but often take the shape of a landscape reminiscent of the mountains, deserts and lakes in the West. In this I see an amazing continuation of what was in what is.


Which artists are you inspired by?
I love James Turrell and Robert Irwin. Both of them are more sculptural artists than I am, but they both also play with perception and how I see things in ways that interest me. James Turrell uses light as his medium, and through his work I discover the elusive and fleeting abilities of my own eyes to correctly perceive what is right in front of me. Irwin uses objects to discuss similar issues. Both focus on extending my experience with the work. I also enjoy Mark Rothko, Laura Letinsky, Thomas Demand, Josiah McElheny and so many others for their ability to suspend my beliefs and their sheer skill in elevating the ordinary. I have to believe that I can become something better, and they help me to get there.

What advice do you have for young artists?
Pursue what fascinates you. Have fun. Experiment. Much of my art is based in how I work, and I continually am reinventing myself and how I “draw”. Be surprised. I don’t think that this is just for artists either. Everyone is searching in their own way.


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